"Poetry holds children from their play,
And old men from the chimney-corner." Sir Philip Sidney.
CANFIELD & ROBINS.
Entered according to act of Congress, A. D. 1835,
By CANFIELD & ROBINS,
in the Clerk's Office of the District of Connecticut.
It is believed that Poetry might be made an important assistant to early education. It readily wins attention in the nursery. It wakes the mind from the dream that enwraps new-born existence,—as the song of the bird breaks the slumber of morning.
Perhaps, it is the native dialect of those powers that are earliest developed. In our care of infancy, we perceive that the heart is sooner a subject of discipline, than the understanding. Feeling and Fancy, put forth their young perceptions, even before they are expected,—and Poetry, more successfully than the severer sciences, bends a spray to their embrace, or a prop for their aspirings.
Even first intercourse with the mind, may be higher than that of amusement. Coming into the nursery as it does, with the voice of song, it need not confine itself to unmeaning carols, or useless echoes. It may be as the sun-beam fitting the newly-broken soil for the future toil of the culturer. By quickening the intellect, and furnishing a pleasant aliment for
memory,—it leads to that inquisitive research, which, next to application, secures proficiency in more laborious departments of knowledge.
But its principal affinity is with the heart, Its power of creating tender and indelible impressions has not always been fully appreciated. This renders it a most valuable adjunct, in moral and religious instruction. It is the natural ally of the mother. It comes with her, into the field, while the dews of morning are fresh,—and ere the tares have sprung up to trouble the good seed. Taking precedence of other Teachers,—it brings the listening infant, "sweet words of sweetly-uttered knowledge." It bespeaks the love of the cradle-sleeper, for the God and Father of us all;—and walking hand in hand with the child, amid the charms and melodies of Nature,—teaches of a clime, where beauty never fades, and melody is eternal.